Refutado =/= no demostrado

26 agosto 2017

English version

En una entrada reciente mencioné la falacia ad ignorantiam, que se basa en la confusión entre refutado y no demostrado. Paso a explicar los conceptos. Un enunciado está demostrado si se encuentra una demostración del mismo de acuerdo de acuerdo con los niveles de exigencia de la disciplina correspondiente. Un enunciado es refutado si se encuentra una demostración de su negación. En ambos casos implica demostrar algo, signifique lo que signifique en la correspondiente disciplina. En el caso de la refutación, también está involucrada la negación propia del enunciado, evitando falsas dicotomías. Cuando un enunciado no está ni demostrado ni refutado, permanece no demostrado. Los enunciados no demostrados están en una especie de limbo, donde se mantienen hasta que son demostrados o refutados.

Cada disciplina tiene sus propios niveles de exigencia para la demostración y, en el caso de las experimentales, un enunciado ya demostrado puede volver al estado de no demostrado, o incluso ser refutado, si se reúnen suficientes pruebas en contra. En el caso de ser incapaces de refutar un enunciado, puede ocurrir que el investigador pueda demostrar que las pruebas disponibles no pueden demostrarlo ni refutarlo, trayéndolo de vuelta al estado de no demostrado. Estos dos escenarios deberían ser claramente diferenciados, ya que refutar un enunciado previamente demostrado es mucho más fuerte que simplemente demostrar que las pruebas son demasiado débiles para demostrarlo, y las implicaciones son diferentes. La falacia ad ignorantiam consiste en confundirlos deliberadamente, considerando una demostración del segundo tipo como si fuera del primer tipo, concluyendo pues refutado el enunciado del oponente.

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Disproved =/= unproved

26 agosto 2017

Versión en español

In a recent post, I have mentioned the ad ignorantiam fallacy, which is based on the confusion between disproved and unproved. I shall explain the concepts. A claim is proved if a proof thereof is found according to the standard of the corresponding discipline. A claim is disproved if a proof of its negation is found. In both cases it involves proving, whichever it means in the corresponding discipline. In the case of disproving, it also involves proper negation of the claim, avoiding false dichotomies. When a claim is neither proved nor disproved, it remains unproved. The unproved claims lie in a kind of limbo, where they stay until proved or disproved.

Each discipline has its own proving standard and, in the experimental ones, a proved claim can return to the state of unproved, or even be disproved, if contradictory evidence is gathered. In the case of being unable to disprove the claim, it may happen that the researcher can prove that current evidence can’t prove or disprove it, bringing it back to the state of unproved. These two scenarios should be clearly distinguished, since disproving a previously proved claim is much stronger than just proving the evidence too weak to prove it, and the implications are different. The ad ignorantiam fallacy consists in deliberately confusing them by considering that a proof of the second kind as if it were of the first kind, concluding thus disproved the opponent’s claim.


Mi visión de la investigación sobre asexualidad

19 agosto 2017

English version

Cuando entré a la comunidad asexual, me di cuenta de varios hechos que pude comprobar por mi experiencia allí. Algunos de tales hechos estaban apoyados por investigación científica, pero la mayoría estaban por investigar. En la primera categoría encontramos los trabajos de Storms y Diamond, a los cuales dediqué mi primera contribución [versión en español] al carnaval de este mes. El primero de estos trabajos propone un modelo bidimensional de la orientación sexual que sitúa la asexualidad como una orientación sexual completamente legítima. El segundo de ellos apoya la separación de la atracción sexual y la romántica, e incluso da una base para explicar la demisexualidad. Pero la mayoría de las conclusiones interesantes de la experiencia de la comunidad asexual permanecen sin comprobar científicamente. Más aún, con la excepción de Storms, que publicó en 1980, el resto de la literatura científica sobre asexualidad es muy reciente y, en la mayoría de los casos, viene a redescubrir hechos que son bien conocidos en la comunidad asexual, incluso en formas más débiles. Es cierto que cada disciplina científica tiene sus propios niveles de exigencia de investigación, y que pasar de una hecho empírico a una verdad científica lleva su trabajo, pero la buena investigación debería tener en cuenta la experiencia de la comunidad, a riesgo de elaborar una nueva teoría del flogisto.

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My view of asexual research

19 agosto 2017

Esta entrada es otra colaboración para el carnaval de blogs, que este mes trata sobre la asexualidad y el mundo académico. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval.

Versión en español

When I entered the asexual community, I realized some facts I could check by my experience there. Some of these facts were supported by scientific research, but most were unresearched. In the first category we find the works of Storms and Diamond to which I have devoted my first contribution to this month’s edition of this carnival. The first work proposes a bidimensional model of sexual orientation that places asexuality as a fully legitimate sexual orientation. The second work supports the separation of sexual and romantic attraction, and even gives ground for explaining demisexuality. But most of the interesting conclusions of the asexual-community experience remain scientifically untested. Moreover, with the exception of Storms, who published in 1980, the rest of the scientific literature on asexuality is very recent and, in most cases, it comes to rediscover facts that are well known to the asexual community, even in weaker forms. It’s true that each scientific discipline has its research standards, and that passing from an empirical fact to a scientific truth takes its work, but good research should take into account the community experience, at the price of making up another theory of phlogiston.

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Mi investigación favorita sobre asexualidad

11 agosto 2017

English version

Me alegro de enterarme de que el testigo de Asexual Explorations en compilar una bibliografía de investigación sobre asexualidad ha sido regido por Asexual Research en la plataforma Zotero [ver presentación]. De este modo he encontrado artículos recientes que vuelven sobre mi trabajo de investigación asexual favorito de todos los tiempos, Storms (1980). La razón por la que me gusta el artículo de Storms es por su modelo bidimensional de orientación sexual, que he descrito previamente en este blog [1, 2] y, en pocas palabras, considera las atracciones heterosexual y homosexual como ejes perpendicular, obteniendo cuetro regiones: heterosexualidad, homosexualidad, bisexualidad y asexualidad. Este modelo mejora la escala de Kinsey, considerando la asexualidad una orientación sexual completamente legítima, en lugar de un punto aislado fuera de la escala.

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My favorite asexual research

11 agosto 2017

Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs, que este mes trata sobre la asexualidad y el mundo académico. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval.

Versión en español

I’m glad to learn that the baton of Asexual Explorations on compiling a bibliography of research on asexuality has been picked up by Asexual Research in the platform Zotero [see introduction]. This way I’ve found recent articles revisiting my all-time favorite piece on asexual research, Storms (1980). The reason I like Storms’s article is because of his bidimensional model of sexual orientation, which I’ve described previously in this blog and, in a nutshell, considers heterosexual attraction and homosexual attraction as perpendicular axes, obtaining four regions: heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and asexuality. This model improves Kinsey scale, considering asexuality a fully legitimate sexual orientation instead of an off-scale outlier.

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Meetups!

30 julio 2017

Esta entrada es una colaboración para el carnaval de blogs, cuyo tema de este mes trata es Ace-ing it up offline. Escribo en inglés porque es el idioma de este carnaval.

I envy those asexual people living in areas with regular meetups. I live in the middle of nowhere and I don’t have easy access to meetups. Since my beginning in AVEN, I was interested in meetups, and I was lucky to attend one in Madrid in my first half year in AVEN. Madrid has always been my reference for meetups, and I have attended a few there, but I have also dealt with the scarcity of AVENites in my area by arranging private meetings. These private meetings are not meetups as usual, but they’re meetings of only two AVENites, which allows a schedule fitter to the needs of both people. I have arranged such private meetings when I was going to visit towns where I knew a fellow AVENite was staying, so they depended on fortunate coincidences, and I’m lucky to say that they have always been successful. A disadvantage of these meetings over group meetups is that there’s more risk of not being chemistry between the two people, something that in a group meetup blurs, what makes them riskier to fail for incompatibility.

An issue in both kinds of meetings is how to recognize each other. I think it’s useful to exchange phone numbers and/or pictures (through private ways, or course) especially for the private meetings, apart of arranging a very specific place to meet. For group meetings the latter could be enough if the group is recognizable by any means like a flag. There are in AVEN safety guidelines which are advisable to follow especially in the first meetup, among which I would highlight the rule of staying in public spaces.

Another kind of meetups I have attended is the fortnightly meetings of the campus LGBT group. I was not out to them as asexual, but they were very accepting, since they’re a group that accepts straight and questioning people. These meetups were held in a corner of a gay bar, and were split into small groups, so I had the opportunity to talk with different people of the group each evening. For the first time, I contacted the group leaders and they met up with me in the same place half an hour before the rest of the people came, making it very welcoming.

When visiting a town for attending a meetup, I’ve had good experiences with pre-meetups and post-meetups. In pre-meetups, people coming early for the main meetup met the evening before. In post-meetups, people in the main meetup arranged an extension of the meetup for the next day. Also the International Conference of Asexuality, held this month in Madrid, despite not being a meetup, allowed to meet AVENites and to arrange pre-meetups.

Though I’m not out in general, when you meet up with an asexual person or group, it happens the miracle that, inside this circle, you are all out without having to come out and, if you have to do any explanation, you are understood because you share the terminology. This happens too, though at a lower level, in the LGBT meetups where I was not out as asexual.